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Drug investigation leads to 25 arrests at motorcycle club in Portland

Drug bust at motorcycle club
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 10:58 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2022 at 1:09 PM EDT
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PORTLAND, CT (WFSB) – State police released more information on a major drug bust in Portland Wednesday evening.

Police said 25 people have been arrested in connection to the investigation.

Officers also seized $51,470, 118 pounds of marijuana, 8.5 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, several thousand grams of THC products, several thousand hallucinogenic products, and two firearms that were possessed illegally.

Major drug bust in Portland.
Major drug bust in Portland.(Connecticut State Police)

The search warrant was executed by state police Wednesday night around 7:40 p.m. at the “Ruthless 4 Life Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Clubhouse” on Airline Avenue in Portland.

Members of the public complained about large gatherings in the area, police said.

Police said the gatherings had open alcohol and drug use.

“Of note, the use of an adjoining Little League baseball field was impacted, sometimes resulting in cancelled games and practices due to the illicit activity in the immediate vicinity,” state police said.

The motorcycle gang used the clubhouse to organize the sale of drugs, said state police.

“It was determined that numerous dealers, some traveling in from out of state, would rent space in the clubhouse to sell large quantities of controlled substances,” state police said.

When the search warrant was executed by multiple agencies an event with about 90 people was taking place.

State police said people were detained without incident.

Multiple people were charged and will appear in Middletown Superior Court.

Most of the people arrested were released at the scene, so only four people have booking photos, state police said.

Police made multiple arrests in a major drug bust at a Portland motorcycle club.
Police made multiple arrests in a major drug bust at a Portland motorcycle club.(Connecticut State Police)

Shane Adams, 46, of Middletown, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to sell and was released on bond.

Jonathan Alexander, 33, of Ludlow, Massachusetts, was charged with possession with intent to sell hallucinogenic, sale of hallucinogenic, and possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis. He was released on bond.

David Burt, 31, of Wallingford, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to sell and released on bond.

Stephen Carkin, 35, of Foxboro, Massachusetts, was charged with possession with intent to sell hallucinogenic, sale of hallucinogenic, and possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis. He was released on bond.

Tessa Cote, 27, of Ludlow, Massachusetts, was charged with possession with intent to sell hallucinogenic, conspiracy to sell hallucinogenic, and possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis. She was released on bond.

Tessie Deshaine, 42, of Terryville, was charged with possession with intent to sell cannabis/cannabis products and was released on bond.

Michael Gambardella, 33, of West Haven, was charged with possession with intent to sell hallucinogenic, sale of hallucinogenic, and possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis. He was released on bond.

Sherry Geisler, 47, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to sell and was released on bond.

John Grillo, 59, of Quincy, Massachusetts, was charged with possession with intent to sell hallucinogenic and was released on bond.

Jian Guo, 33, of Maspeth, New York, was charged with possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis and was released on bond.

Ian-Isaiah Holloman-Ellis, 27, of Middletown, was charged with possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis.

Kody Kellry, 25, of Simsbury, was charged with 2 counts of illegal sale of a controlled substance, illegal sale of cannabis, and conspiracy with intent to sell and released on bond.

Erica Kruieger, 47, of Plainville, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to sell and was released on bond.

Kevin Malley, 58, of East Hampton, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to sell and was released on bond.

William T. Maynard, 51, of East Hampton, was charged with intent to sell and released on bond.

Kevin O’Malley, 50, of Newington, was charged with 2 counts of illegal sale of a controlled substance and illegal sale of cannabis. He was released on bond.

Rory Hyde, 37, of Wesley Chapel, Florida, was charged with conspiracy to sell hallucinogenic, possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis, 2 counts of possession of a pistol without a permit, and 2 counts of weapons in a motor vehicle and was released on bond.

Rashann Rankins, 48, of Rocky Hill, was charged with possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis and was released on bond.

Victor Rook, 38, of Wallingford, was charged with possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis and possession with intent to sell hallucinogenic and was released on bond.

Christopher Ronnow, 25, or Bridgeport, was charged with possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis and was released on bond.

Abigail Trifono, 30, of Plainville, was charged with illegal sale of a controlled substance and illegal sale of hallucinogenic and was released on bond.

Jose Velez, 57, of North Haven, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to sell and was released on bond.

David Viengngeune, 40, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, was charged with 2 counts of illegal sale of a controlled substance and was released on bond.

Tiffany Wagher, 38, of Sturbridge Massachusetts was charged with possession with intent to sell hallucinogenic and possession with intent to sell over 1 kilogram of cannabis and was released on bond.

Aaron Weiss, 57, of East Hartford, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to sell and was released on bond.

This story is breaking. Previous story follows:

Portland police, with the help of Connecticut State Police, made multiple arrests and seized a number of drugs in a large scale bust on Wednesday.

Police said they had received a number of complaints from residents on Airline Avenue.

“Residents in the area had submitted many complaints, and had expressed great concerns about the activities that they were seeing,” said State police Sgt. Dawn Pagan on Wednesday night.

Umberto Spada, a business owner who parks his trailer right next to the motorcycle club, said he’s been there for a couple years, never would have guessed it’s as bad as police say it is.

“Hearing that, like what they actually, like the shrooms and stuff, that was like, I was like, no way,” said Spada.

When it’s not at an event, Spada parks his mobile axe throwing business, The Wooden Hatchet, next to the motorcycle club.

Spada said, “it looked like, just like a college party. it looked like they were just drinking, coming, hanging out.”

Spada says they were always polite with him. “You’d see just tons of cars, and they would have like people out here helping parking and stuff like that, they never bothered me ‘cause I don’t actually run the business out of here.”

Spada has heard of his neighbors’ complaints about the club.

Some of the complaints included people walking through little league fields disturbing games as children played.

Portland police said that activity as well as other complaints raised red flags and they began the months-long investigation.

What they found was a large-scale drug operation at a nearby motorcycle club on Airline Avenue.

During the search and seizure operation, police said they nabbed a large quantity of marijuana and mushrooms. They said there was a lot to process and more arrests were expected.

Two firearms were also found, but police were unsure at the time if they were legal or illegal.

First Selectman Ryan Curley says he first started hearing them in January.

Then when Portland little league’s season started at Nolan Field, right next to the club, more complaints came in about suspicious people at games and the smell of marijuana.

The bust was within 100 yards of the baseball fields.

Police said the little league fields are now secure.

Those parents’ complaints resulted in the park’s closure.

Curley said, “when she described the activity that was going on there, I made the decision, along with the police, that we should close that park down for the time being.”

Curley says this is a prime example for why it’s important to report suspicious behavior.

Both he and Spada say the club’s location helped it be undetectable.

“For, like an industrial area, it felt like it was somewhere they’d party and get away without having to deal with everyone,” said Spada.

More arrests could be made as this investigation continues.

Spada says his landlord is looking to evict the club from the property.

Little league field back open after Portland drug bust
Police said they had received a number of complaints from residents on Airline Avenue.
Portland police with the help of the Connecticut State Police made multiple arrests and seized a number of drugs in a large scale bust Wednesday.